Forwarder Online July 20, 2023


How would you describe a bill of lading? It’s rather like trying to describe an elephant-it is far easier to recognize than to describe.

A bill of lading can be issued by a vessel operating carrier (VOC), but also by a freight forwarder.  By issuing a bill of lading, the forwarder becomes a non-vessel operating carrier (NVOCC) in Canada. This means that the forwarder is acting as Principal. When the forwarder acts as Principal, it is the same as saying that the forwarder is acting as a carrier, with all the rights and responsibilities of a carrier. However, even if a freight forwarder only acts as a booking agent with the VOC on a direct shipment, the forwarder can be considered a ‘party to the contract of carriage’.

This workshop looks into the details of the rights, responsibilities and possible liabilities of the parties to the contract of carriage. It explains the functions and types of bills of lading, and the related endorsement and distribution processes, the merchant clause and how to mitigate the risks associated with export and import shipments.

Learn more about the Marine Bills of Lading and other short, topical workshops.